I have always had a love for the combat arts. Since I was a child and first saw Bruce Lee as Kato on the Green Hornet. I was mesmerized by his kicking skills. I wanted to that! In 1970 Devonshire Mall opened in Windsor. Upstairs was a Tae Kwon Do school operated by a man named Bob Chase. I would go Saturday morning to watch the masses of people he was teaching.
My father was retired, so getting into the martial arts was just not possible, So he put me into amateur boxing. It was free and the Windsor Boxing Club had a good reputation. High school came along and I tried some wrestling too. But martial arts was my true calling.
In February 1984 I was married with a son. I got lucky and was hired by Chrysler Canada to work on the line. In those days it payed a whopping $9.75 per hour plus COLA. After I got my 90 days, and we managed to get life settle financially somewhat I began to look at following my dream. I started the search for a school.
I wanted a kicking art, so Aikido was out. On November 10th 1984 I found what I was looking for. A Hapkido / Tae Kwon Do blend taught by a very powerful looking Canadian instructor, with a STRONG linage to Korea. I joined Chung Oh’s School of Tae Kwon Do.
My instructor Philip Hollohan was a 4th Dan Black Belt and very very impressive to watch move. He was also an excellent teacher. Very kind, and very strict. Just what I was looking for! The head of the school in Kitchener Ontario was Master Chung W Oh. Also a very kind man to his new students, but very hard on the Black Belts. It all seemed to work very nicely. At this time Master Oh was a 7th Dan Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, and 8th Dan Hapkido if my memory is correct.
Training was hard, the classes were full! At the beginner we came at a different time and were taught by 2 different Red Belts. Ron Bondy and Cristina Harbou. Both these senior students were very talented. We trained 4-5 times per week, and 3 times her week when I was working afternoon shift.
I love it! I knew I was one day going to be a Black Belt. But I did not imagine how it was going to become my life.
To be continued.